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Christmas Eve attacks kill at least 38 in Nigeria

Explosions in Nigeria’s central region killed 32 people.

Written by Reuters | Jos,maiduguri |
December 26, 2010 1:45:39 am

Explosions in Nigeria’s central region killed 32 people on Christmas Eve and six people died in attacks on two churches in the northeast of Africa’s most populous nation,officials said Saturday.

On Friday night,a series of bombs were detonated during Christmas Eve celebrations in villages near the central city of Jos,killing at least 32 people while 74 were in a critical condition,the state police commissioner said.

Nigeria’s Army chief said the blasts were not part of religious clashes which flare up sporadically as tensions bubble under the surface in a country where the population is split roughly equally between Muslims and Christians.

“It (Jos explosions) was caused by a series of bomb blasts. That is terrorism,it’s a very unfortunate incident,” Azubuike Ihejirika said in the southern city of Port Harcourt.

President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday condemned the attacks and sent his condolences to the families of the victims.

“I assure all Nigerians that we shall unearth those behind the Jos bomb explosion and apprehend them to face the law,” Jonathan said in the capital Abuja.

In a separate incident,at least six people were killed in what appeared to be religiously motivated attacks on two churches in the northeastern city of Maiduguri.

Attackers threw petrol bombs on Friday at a church,killing five people,including a Baptist pastor. A security guard at a nearby church died in a similar assault.

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